Former Indian cricketer Ajit Agarkar is not happy with the national selectors, questioning the selection of Ravindra Jadeja over Krunal Pandya as a replacement for injured Hardik Pandya in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018. He also termed IPL 2018 heroes –Deepak Chahar and Sidhharth Kaul call-up as 'T20 selections'.
Hardik was ruled out of the Asia Cup 2018 with an acute lower back injury that he picked up during India's match against Pakistan, forcing BCCI to call Jadeja as his replacement. But it did not go well with Agarkar, saying he didn't understand Jadeja's selection.
Former pacer believes that the national selectors should have gone ahead with Krunal for the all-rounder’s slot in the six-team One Day International tournament in the flatter UAE pitches, as Pandya is a better batsman than Jadeja and India needs a batsman who can score runs in the middle, not only bowler.
He is also not happy with Deepak and Kaul’s selection who have been added to the Indian squad for the remainder of 2018 Asia Cup as a replacement for Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur.
Agarkar told ESPNCricinfo, “Yes, strange couple of changes for India. Firstly, I don't know where Umesh Yadav is? He only played one Test in England. Deepak Chahar and Siddharth Kaul both looked to me like T20 selections. I like Chahar, he can swing the ball, and he has got abilities. But he is not the like-for-like replacement for Hardik Pandya. Hardik is a much better batsman than he is. You have lost Shardul Thakur, your out-and-out seamer and they have gone from Siddharth Kaul, but ideally, you should have gone for someone like Umesh Yadav, who has a bit of experience.”
He further went on to explain his point, “Maybe they have seen the pitch condition and realised that they don't need pace and need a bowler who can bowl straight. I can't quite understand Ravindra Jadeja selection, to be honest. It was a nice opportunity for the selectors to bring someone like Krunal Pandya. He seems to be doing okay in List A cricket and Vijay Hazare Trophy.”
Jadeja last turned up for India in ODIs against West Indies in July 2017, while played only seven matches in limited-overs cricket last year. In 2018, Jadeja has been wicket less after bowling 71.4 overs in List A cricket matches, which can be the reasons why Ajit is not convinced with his selection.
He signed off by saying, “For Jadeja, is the captain confident enough to bowl him 10 overs on flat conditions? That is the reason he went out of the team for he was no longer effective enough, nor getting wickets. Krunal Pandya is a better batsman. Jadeja has got abilities, but you wouldn't bat him in top six.”